Do you need a web designer or a web developer?

December 2, 2017

In the last week, I’ve heard many people refer to a web designer and web developer interchangeably, however they are two very different roles.

First off let's delve into the differences between a web designer and a web developer. This will help us to figure out if you need one or both.

What is a web designer?

A web designer focuses on the design of a website or application. They use their experience with color theory, user experience (UX), typography, and graphic design to create websites to attract the desired user.  While most web designers can and should be familiar with front-end coding (CSS, HTML, and Javascript) that might not their expertise.

You want your website to be as user-friendly as possible for your customer. You want to hire a web designer to transform your online branding ideas into reality.  

A web designer is what you need if:

  1. You want to redesign your current website and give it a fresh new look
  2. You want to launch your brand online and need the website.
  3. You want usability and the experience to be considered.

What is a web developer?

The web developer builds the website. There are different types of web developers that can be classified as front-end, back-end, and full-stack. With a simple website operating on Wordpress, a front-end developer is perfectly capable.

The main difference between a web developer and a web designer is that the web developer knows how to code and turn designs into a fully functioning website. Their focus is on creating clean code and not on the visual appearance.

A web developer is what you need if:

  1. You have the website design and need it to be turned into a fully-functioning website.
  2. You have a couple bugs within the website that need to be fixed.

How do the two work together?

A web designer and developer need to work together to create a user-friendly, well-designed website. They are both working towards the same goal - to create a website that attracts the desired customers.

The line between these two positions is becoming blurred. While you can find people that are capable of doing both jobs, the quality might not be to the standard you want as often where the person begins (either with design or coding) is the area they will tend to be more advanced at. For example, if the person was originally a web developer, the small details of the website that the designer would be careful to consider may not be considered by the developer. These are all things to consider yourself before deciding on a developer and/or designer.

Is working with an agency the answer?

Working with an agency makes your life easier by allowing them to work with the designer and developer to produce the outcome you want without you having to find the people yourself. This can reduce the  massive headache of trying to decide who is right for the job and whether or not the code will be clean and readable (it’s important to consider this if other developers will have to go into the code in the future). I’ve had my fair share of headaches and want you to avoid them at all costs!

Founder at Blurredpixel

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